Kirthill to Strike at Donny
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's terrestrial TV action from Doncaster and Wincanton.
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2:00 DONCASTER Betfred E B F Gillies Fillies' Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 1m2f60y
SAJJHAA look the one to beat in this. She ran well in heavy ground in a Group 1 in Italy last month on her first start since chasing home the top-class Izzi Top at York back in May. The Godolphin filly will go very close with a similar effort in this company. Emirates Queen has come up short in Listed company so far, though she still has every chance on her best form, and the remainder all have something to find with the principals on today's terms. Dorcas Lane went close at Newmarket on her return from a lay-off and had finished ahead of Khawlah earlier but Raasekha improved for the drop back to a mile last time and today's trip is a worry for her. Surprise Moment is the third Godolphin representative and could prove best of the rest on her earlier victory at Newmarket.
2:35 DONCASTER Betfred November Handicap Cl2 1m4f
The unbeaten First Mohican was the strong ante-post favourite coming into this year's renewal. He's highly progressive but, stepping up in trip off a 12lb higher mark and racing on likely good ground for the first time, he's worth taking on. Godolphin run four with Mickael Barzalona riding topweight Retrieve, a Listed winner at Newbury but beaten off a lower mark in a handicap back in July. The Tiger is another making good progress and is preferred to stablemate Voodoo Prince, despite a 9lb rise, while Goodwood winner Nicholascopernicus steps up in class having been raised the same amount. Bridle Belle and Party Line are recent soft ground winners who will be hoping for a bit more cut and we may not have seen the best of the lightly-raced Clayton yet. Communicator and Blue Surf are comfortable in this grade and arrive in good form but the vote goes to KIRTHILL. His only previous attempt at today's trip resulted in a victory at York in August and there should be more to come from Luca Cumani's colt over the distance.
2:50 WINCANTON totepool.com Elite Hurdle (Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m
There's no Celestial Halo this year but Paul Nicholls is still represented by three useful hurdlers. Zarkandar won the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February and took on the best at Cheltenham and Aintree thereafter but Ruby Walsh has deserted him in favour of PROSPECT WELLS. The latter ran in all the top novice events last season and was rarely disgraced, being beaten less than three lengths when fifth at Cheltenham and then finishing third at Aintree. He may well have been let in lightly here and is preferred to the erratic Escort'men and four-year-olds Balder Succes and Baby Mix. Local Hero has won a couple of valuable handicaps over the summer at Market Rasen and has form at this level so can't be ignored.
3:10 DONCASTER Betfred "Bonus King Bingo" Wentworth Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 6f
A wide-open sprint with the tentative vote going the way of SIRIUS PROSPECT. He ended last year with victory in this contest but has looked far from straightforward this season, though better efforts on his last couple of runs have suggested he may yet get his head back in front. Ultrasonic has been holding her own in Listed company and should figure while Eton Rifles is also capable of scoring at this level. Jack Dexter and Doc Hay have shown good progress this season though the former came out best when they met over 5f here last month. Ladies Are Forever has the past form to figure but The Cheka has a bit to find with the selection on recent running.
3:25 WINCANTON Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 3m1f110y
Golden Chieftain went some way towards justifying a tall home reputation when winning easily at Worcester and the longer trip shouldn't be a problem. Both West End Rocker and Zarrafakt could figure if in the mood while Paul Nicholls has won this three times in the last four years so Michel Le Bon, a winner over hurdles at Cheltenham in the spring, has to go on the short-list back over fences. He makes more appeal than No Loose Change, who disappointed at Fakenham. Triangular looked in need of the run at Cheltenham while Mic's Delight and the front-running Aimigayle could be well handicapped but we'll take a chance on THE PACKAGE. David Pipe's nine-year-old goes well fresh and was fancied for this Listed handicap in 2010 off an 8lb higher mark. His fourth at Cheltenham in March suggests he retains plenty of ability and Timmy Murphy will be producing him late here in a bid to land the spoils.
3:45 DONCASTER Betfred "The Bonus King" Handicap Cl2 7f CH4
Gold City seems the Godolphin first choice on jockey bookings but My Freedom looks to have just as good a chance on his best form. Louis The Pious would go close if this was over 6f while Shamaal Nibras will be bang there at the finish if any rain arrives. Highland Colori looks capable of winning off his current mark and finished ahead of Well Painted at Ascot last time. Last week's Newmarket winner Wannabe King may not have finished improving yet and Sam Nombulist won on this card last year but this is a big step up in class for the hat-trick-chasing Myboyalfie. DOCOFTHEBAY doesn't arrive in the best of form but finished runner-up in last year's renewal off a higher mark and looks to have been aimed at this with a recent comeback run under his belt.